Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Supermarket Checkout Lane Etiquette

  • Contributed by foodieprints: "Code of ethics #1 "I will not drive over other shoppers or their children to get to the checkout first."
  • Quite simply, if the sign says "Express Lane: 10 Items or Less," that's what it means. There are no hidden meanings to be sought. Don't try to be philosophical.
  • And, no, your six individual cans of soup don't count as one item, your six-pack beer or six on-the-vine tomato analogy notwithstanding. One scan = one item.
  • The thing, you know, when you get in line just to secure a place in it then send your kid or spouse back to the aisles to get more stuff and, until they return to the checkout with desired items, hold the cashier and everyone else in line hostage? Quit it.
  • Even worse than that, as heydaL has pointed out, nobody should leave their cart at the register, or even in line unattended, to go get something they forgot, no matter how "close." I agree. At least with someone standing next to the cart, we have someone to give an evil eye to.
  • Peregrining hates it when you play this game of standing in one line and having your spouse standing in the other to see which line is faster then switching at the last second.
  • If you're old enough to drive to the supermarket, you're old enough to make a decision. Debating after an item is rung in if you really need it is okay (though annoying). Debating every second item, says, Peregrining, is a sign you should stay home.
  • Don't stack your shopping basket in a crooked manner so others can't stack theirs on top of it. Crispy Waffle and some of us can't stand it.
  • A_for_Aubergine opines that you should get s ... er, stuff ready before paying. Searching for coupons in your bag at the register is lame.
  • If you're one of those people who still pay for your grocery with checks, it would help if you don't wait until the cashier has totaled up your purchase before reaching for your checkbook and asking people around you if you can borrow their pen.
  • Angry Asian wants to add that, in this day and age, you should not be writing a check for purchases less than $10 total. I'll go as far as saying that, in this day and age, you shouldn't be writing checks at the supermarket at all.
  • Once all your bags are in the cart and the receipt has been handed to you, your presence is no longer required (or desired). Get out of the lane and make way for the next shopper behind you. Find a spot in the common area, away from the checkout lane, where you can check the prices on your receipt, alphabetize all the receipts in your wallet, work on your genealogy, etc.
  • Also, as a reminder, the self-checkout lane is not a game for your kids, says Peregrining. Nor is it a place where you can stop mid-scan to chat or send text messages on your phone, he adds.

  • If you're working the express lane, you'd be doing your customers a favor by occasionally checking to see if there are people who have more than 10 items in their carts. Be a good host and figure out how to politely suggest they move to a different line. Don't let your guests/customers duke it out on their own as to who should or shouldn't be in the express lane.
  • When you open up a new checkout lane, be kind to let the shopper who is second in line be the first to proceed to the new lane. S/he has been waiting longer than anyone in that line. If you just open a new lane and turn on the light without doing anything, it's the person at the end of that long line -- the one who has just arrived on the scene and is unfairly blessed with nobody behind him/her -- that usually gets to enjoy that newly-opened lane before anyone else.
  • When you can't identify a produce item and you choose to ask the customer what it is, be prepared to accept their answer. It's lame to ask your customer to identify the item in question, get an answer, then double check with your manager or your friend working the next lane in front of the customer who has just given you his/her answer.
  • Better yet, for heaven's sake, know your fruits and vegetables.
  • We know you want to strike up a conversation, but holding up an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable, making faces, and saying to the customer, "That looks so weird. What do you do with this?" is just lame. It might not look like food to you; it is food to us.
  • Just because the customer is Asian, doesn't mean all green leafy vegetables which you can't identify is bok choy.
  • I agree with Angry Asian who says when you put all mushable/delicate produce in the bottom of the bag and the cans, bottles or other heavy stuff on top, you're, in her words, jackassery personified.

More supermarket etiquette (beyond the checkout lanes) is coming soon.
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